Cities, and the interested parties behind them, are turning to the Times Square model in efforts to revitalize and rezone city districts and large electronic signage is playing a starring role. Those in favor of this move cite point to New York's success in turning Times Square from porn central to the electrified ad capital it is today. Critics claim this move will simply make every city look alike and therefore remove any special character the city might once have had.
Another point to consider in all of this is what vision of itself a city wants to project to the rest of the country and to the world.
During the dawn of the millennium, visuals of the world's cities flashed across the television screen as news operations covered each time zone's birth of a new millennium. Among all of the planet's cities, New York's Times Square stood out as the most commercial, most gaudy and most unbecoming city of the bunch. Those who involve themselves in the making of a city's landscape would do well to think long and hard before making parts of their cities one gigantic billboard. We already have a Times Square. We don't need hundreds more.